Hope you are all fine.
You may not see me this weekend, as I am going to Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Wisconsin Rapids, for mission appeal. The fund that I would raise will go to my home diocese in India, the Diocese of Vellore.
You will be seeing a new priest with me these days. He is Fr. Amalraj Antony from India. He will be here to have his initial orientation and to get himself acquainted with the culture. You may help him learn the local culture.
I would like to thank you all for the warm welcome you have offered me. It was really great and encouraging. I deeply appreciate the warmth of your welcome.
Once there was a monastery in a village. There were many monks living there. The monks were happy with their way of life. One of the monks was very pious. The monk used to clean the statues that were in the monastery every day. He was very diligent in doing his job and he was very happy about it. Life went on.
It so happened that once there was a famine. The people were starving due to lack of food. They were suffering without even one meal a day. The monks in the monastery were trying to help out the people in any way possible. They went to people who had some food, begged food from them and gave food to those who were starving. The pious monk went on doing his job every day, even in this time of difficulty. Yes, he kept cleaning the statues as ever. He never minded what others were doing or what the situation of the people was.
One day the head of the monks saw this pious monk running towards him and asked him what happened and why he was running so breathlessly. The pious monk replied, “Head Monk, Head Monk, something bad is happening here. I saw one of the statue’s toe is broken. I don’t know how that happened, but it is a bad omen. What are we to do now?” He seemed very concerned about the whole affair. The head monk smiled and said to the pious monk: “Dear monk, people are suffering a great starvation and are without any grain to eat. You do not worry about them. But you worry a lot about the broken toe of a statue. These people are the creatures of God and you don’t worry about that. That is what you need to worry about first, not a broken statue.” The pious monk then realized what has the priority.
Many times we are concerned about many things that do not deserve any attention. But things that we need to care or worry about, we forget and neglect. We need to care more for people and not worry much about lifeless little things. Because these people are those that were created by God and do need and deserve all attention. And by loving them we become more and more closer to God.
Fr. A. Antony